Coronavirus: Death Toll Rises to 908 Dead in China and More than 40,000 Infected

General News
A man displays a "Stay Strong Wuhan" message in solidarity with the hometown of the new coronavirus epidemic in China during a ceremony celebrating the Lunar New Year on February 9, 2020 in New York.

According to the WHO, the number of contaminations of Coronavirus detected daily in China is “stabilizing”. The epidemic could peak in the coming weeks, before ebbing.

The new coronavirus has killed 908 people in mainland China, where the number of people infected exceeds 40,000, according to the assessment established Monday 10th February 2020 by the authorities, confirming certain stability in the progression of the epidemic.

The balance sheet exceeds that of Sras

97 new deaths have been recorded in mainland China, including 91 in Hubei, a province in central China whose capital is Wuhan, home of the epidemic.



The 2019-nCoV virus, which appeared in a market in Wuhan in December, also killed two other people around the world, one in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong.

The overall toll of 910 deaths now greatly exceeds that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed 774 people worldwide in 2002-2003.

An “international mission of experts”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of infections detected daily in China is stabilizing, but it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has exceeded its peak.

A WHO “international expert mission” led by Bruce Aylward, a veteran who worked on other health emergencies, left for China on Sunday evening, the organization said.

Hong Kong residents in the city streets on February 9, 2020.
Hong Kong residents in the city streets on February 9, 2020. (© AFP / DALE DE LA REY)

“Period of stability”

“We have a four-day stability period where the number of reported cases has not increased. This is good news and it could reflect the impact of the control measures, ”said WHO emergency health program manager Michael Ryan.



In mainland China, with some 3,000 additional cases of infection announced on Monday (compared to around 2,600 the previous day), the toll is now 40,171 patients.

Columbia scientist Ian Lipkin of the United States says the epidemic could peak within two weeks, before easing off markedly – even if a “start” is possible when people return to work massively.

Difficult supply

The situation still seems chaotic in hospitals in Wuhan, a city cut off from the world since January 23.

Resident Chen Yiping reports that her 61-year-old mother is still waiting for hospital treatment despite severe symptoms, “because there are too many people in need of treatment.”

Supply remains difficult.

Locals confined to their homes

“The town hall asks people to stay at home as much as possible but there are not enough products in the stores, so we have to go shopping often,” said Wei, whose husband is infected.

Owing to transportation, price and labour issues, “supply is struggling to reach normal levels,” said senior trade ministry official Wang Bin.

The Chinese Central Bank has announced that it will release 300 billion yuan (43 billion US dollars) next week to help companies involved in fighting the epidemic, which continues to spread around the world.

Open letters

More than 320 cases of contamination have been confirmed in around thirty countries and territories. Five new cases (four adults and one child, all of the British nationality) were announced in France on Saturday, bringing the total to 11 in the country.

In China itself, the death Friday of a young doctor who had been reprimanded for having given the alert at the end of December continued to cause a rare controversy, in a country where the information is tightly controlled.

Intellectuals have released at least two open letters that have circulated on social media since the death of Doctor Li Wenliang in a hospital in Wuhan.

Tribute to doctor Li Wenliang in Hong Kong, February 7, 2020.
Tribute to doctor Li Wenliang in Hong Kong, February 7, 2020. (© AFP / Anthony WALLACE)

Read also: Coronavirus: five Britons affected in France, without sign of seriousness

Martyr

The doctor, who died of coronavirus, is now a martyr in the face of local officials accused of having hidden the beginnings of the epidemic.

“Stop restricting freedom of speech,” plead 10 teachers from Wuhan, in a letter that has since been removed from the Weibo social network.

Another letter from anonymous former students of the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing calls on the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to stop making “political security the only priority”.

Restrictions tightened abroad

Elsewhere, many countries are tightening their restrictions on people from China and advise against going there. Most international airlines have suspended flights to mainland China.

A plane chartered by London to repatriate around 200 Britons and other foreign nationals landed in the UK on Sunday morning. Thirty-eight French nationals who were on board arrived in France soon after and were confined.

In Brazil, 34 people were repatriated from Wuhan and placed in quarantine on a military base.

People repatriated from Wuhan are on buses after arriving from China to go to a center in Milton Keynes (north London), on February 9, 2020.
People repatriated from Wuhan are on buses after arriving from China to go to a center in Milton Keynes (north London), on February 9, 2020. (© AFP / ISABEL INFANTES)

End of cruise

In Hong Kong, the thousands of tourists confined to a liner for five days were allowed to disembark on Sunday, the 1,800 crew members have tested negative.

Authorities feared that some crew members had contracted the virus from a previous trip and became contagious.

However, in a cruise ship quarantined in the port of YokohamaJapan, six new cases were reported, bringing the number of infected onboard to 70.

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